Career Description

Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) is a vital member of the healthcare team. MLTs are licensed healthcare professionals who with the use of microscopes, chemical analyzers and other high-tech instruments, carefully analyzing samples of patients’ tissues and bodily fluids to aid in the diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, and prevention of diseases. MLT’s perform, develop, evaluate, correlate and assure accuracy and validity of complex laboratory testing. A major role of the MLT is to perform quality control assessment of testing techniques and analyzers to ensure accuracy of results. Strong communication skills and the ability to demonstrate professionalism and cultural awareness and safety are required as interaction with other healthcare professionals and patients is a key role.

Medical laboratory technologists should be detailed oriented, a critical thinker and be able to work independently and as a team. MLTs also play a leadership role in supervising medical laboratory assistants. The MLT professional is expected to work shift work, weekends and may be on call.

There are three main programs of medical laboratory technology studies;

  • general MLT which includes clinical biochemistry, clinical haematology, clinical histotechnology, clinical microbiology, and transfusion medicine,
  • diagnostic cytology, and
  • clinical genetic.

Approximate Salary:

$27.00 – $37.00/hour

Academic and Licensing Requirements

  • These fields of study requires an in-depth understanding of the biological, chemical sciences and math.
  • Must meet English language requirements
  • Completion of High School or equivalent with the requisite academic courses
  • Completion of a 2-3 year program in general medical laboratory technology, diagnostic cytotechnology or clinical genetics.
  • Upon completion of study, an individual is required to write the national certification exam which is administered through the Canadian Society for Laboratory

Once an individual has passed the national certification examination they must obtain a license with the Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists. to practice as a medical laboratory technologist in Nova Scotia.

Where to study in Nova Scotia

  • Nova Scotia Community College — 3 year program
  • Dalhousie University — Offers a post diploma program to complete a bachelor of Health Science degree. The curriculum is equivalent to two years of full-time university study. You may take these studies part time.
  • The Diagnostic Cytology and Clinical genetics programs are not offered in Nova Scotia, but are accessed at the Michener Institute in Ontario.

Interesting Fact:

“It has been estimated that 75% of medical diagnostic decisions are made on the basis of laboratory results”.


Career Description

Medical laboratory assistants (MLA) are an integral member of the health care profession who work under the guidance of a medical laboratory technologist. MLAs are part of the frontline laboratory staff who contribute to effective patient care. Interaction with patient and other healthcare professionals is a key role, and therefore require MLAs to have strong communication skills, demonstrate professionalism and cultural awareness and safety.

The responsibilities of the medical laboratory assistant is to follow established protocols and safety guidelines to assist on the pre-analytical components of laboratory procedures and can vary from collecting various specimens such as blood (phlebotomy) and urine specimens, process and prepare specimens, data entry, clerical and reception duties, sorting, receiving and transporting specimens, specialized plating, loading analyzers and various other pre-analytical procedures.

Medical laboratory Assistants should expect to work shift work, and weekends.

Academic Requirements

    • High School Diploma or Equivalency
    • Geometry and Applications in Mathematics 112
    • Functions and Relations 112

And one additional science from the following:

  • Biology 112 or 122;
  • Chemistry 112 or 122;
  • Physics 112 or 122

Where to study

CBBC Career College offers an accredited MLA program periodically in Halifax and Cape Breton.

link of accreditation below:

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